Killer’s guilty plea leads to life sentence

A Cambria County man was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to helping arrange and kill a local man’s wife for money in August 2018.

Kenneth Wayne Smith, 33, said Edward Heck, 50, of 2501 Linn St. Newberry, promised $10,000 and a car for the slaying of his wife and two dogs, which was ultimately carried out at Heck’s home the night of Aug. 16, 2018.

Judge Marc F. Lovecchio said Smith’s cold account of the events and demeanor were “surreal” and left him “speechless.”

“This is the stuff of nightmares,” he said.

A killing spree numbering into the hundreds, from Pennsylvania to San Francisco, was planned by the two, said Smith.